Two friends of mine lost their mother’s this past week.
My friends hearts are broken.
My mom died in 1997, nearly 20 years ago.
That was when my world changed. I remember her funeral like it was yesterday. I also remember the early days and years after her death.
For a long time, I could still hear her voice, but it is muddled now.
I can’t even say that I think about her everyday now. For many years, I did.
What is sad to me is that I think she missed the best part of me … the person I have become.
She wasn’t an easy person and neither was I.
I thought I was, but I didn’t have my feet on the ground or a sense of what life really is, or can be.
It wasn’t until not that long ago, when I was thinking about her, that I wish I could have helped her be more of who she wanted to be.
That might sound weird, but it is something that I feel.
Asa Deluca’s mother passed away a few days ago. I asked her about her mom.
This is what Esa wrote.
“Santina Palumbo DeLuca was a simple woman born in April 1921. A small town outside of Naples. She dreamed of coming to America. Came over in 1956. They introduced pizza to Cincinnati. She loved cooking for pizza. Made ravioli for Buddy LaRosa when he began. She loved singing and cooking. She was simple but elegant. She loved my Dad and making him happy. That generation of women. Her life focused around us 5 kids. Communion dresses, finger curls and white gloves. And she gave us a party where lots of people gave you money. That smile she gave to everyone. Her favorite phrase whatta ya gonna do. Her meaning move forward is what she meant. Everyone in Cincinnati many greats like Pete Rose loved her she made everyone feel like home when they walked in Sorrento’s. Shecwas Mama to everyone and if you didn’t have a Mama you did now. When you ate in Sorrento’s she made you feel like she was cooking for you alone. The last of 16 children. She taught me to always be nice don’t judge people give everybody a chance. Love and miss her all the days of my life.”
Another friend, Kathy Fenker-Stone, IM’s me last evening and told me that her mother had died. Still in early process of grief, Kathy said I could mention her mom. I asked her what she would like others to know and she said, about her mother, “She had a kind heart and great sense of humor that brought everyone close to her. SPUNK!!!.”
I told Kathy that I loved SUNK. That’s right, I accidentally said, “SUNK.” But I meant “SPUNK.”
When I asked Kathy how she was, she said she is “Ok,” and added, “It was very touching to see nurses and aides that have taken care of her for 5 years, cry and the compassion they showed.”
Two wonderful women have gone to meet their maker.
Two daughters lives have changed, their role in the hierarchy of their families altered.
Because my mom died so long ago, it seems odd that others have still have had their moms or dads until now. It was years ago that I went through the grieving process that my friends are now dealing with. Thoughts and remembrances will speed through their minds, I guarantee it.
They will feel a palpable loss.
Mothers are different creatures, aren’t they?
We give life. We raise children. We do right. We do wrong. We think we know best, when often, we don’t. We beat ourselves up and pray for grace.
I wonder the number of people all three of these women touched?
Santina Palumbo DeLuca, Agnes Fenker, Jeanne Hipkins.
I know that I have often wondered if I was a good mom. I’ve asked my kids.
But it is important to me.
One day, all of our mothers will be gone. We will be matriarchs. We will be the ones who hope and pray that our children, our families, will stay strong and that when we leave this earth, we will leave loving legacies like our mothers left us.